Saturday, April 16, 2011

NYC homeless rate at all-time high

Source: Press TV

Nearly 115,000 in New York City have become homeless in the past year as homlessness in the city marks a record high, according to a new report based on local data.

The report, conducted by the Coalition for Homeless, holds that close to 115,000 residents of America's largest city, including some 40,000 children, have fallen victim to homelessness, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The coalition blames the climbing homeless rates on Mayor Michael Bloomberg, arguing that he cuts off housing assistance to poor residents that cannot afford to pay rent in the city.

“He replaced the federal programs with a series of time-limited subsidies that give you only one or two years of housing assistance, then cut you off even if the family is too poor to afford their rent,” said a coalition officer, Patrick Markee.

City officials have slammed the report as unrealistic. Markee, however, has defended the validity of the report by pointing to the city's data that reveal a 37-percent increase in homelessness since 2002, when Bloomberg became mayor.

One of the homeless men in the city emphasized in a conversation with a Press TV correspondent that New York's homeless rate was based on the number of people that actually check into shelters, noting that it excludes many homeless individuals that do not seek such services.

“There's never going to be enough money to help the poor buy school books, but there's always enough money to go start a war in a country we have no business being in,” added the homeless man.

Bloomberg has failed to follow through with his vow to reduce the city's homelessness by two thirds during his first term.

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